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😎 Happy Friday from L.A.! Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,087 words ... 4 minutes.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
In just weeks, top economists and investment bank analysts have gone from expecting the coronavirus to have minimal impact on the U.S. economy to warning that an outright recession may be on the horizon, Axios Markets Editor Dion Rabouin writes.
Flashback: Just a few weeks ago, many economists thought the coronavirus would cause only a tenth of a percentage point decrease in U.S. growth this year.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Spending on the 2020 presidential primary has officially surpassed the $1 billion mark, with more than half of that total coming from Mike Bloomberg, Sara Fischer writes from Advertising Analytics data.
For context, experts project that more than $10 billion will be spent on political ads this election season, with more than $3 billion toward the presidential primary specifically.
By the numbers: Democrats have outspent Republicans more than 9-to-1 due to a highly competitive primary contest and because there are two billionaires spending an unprecedented amount on ads.
Startling stat: One of the biggest shifts between 2016 and 2020 has been the increase in money invested in Super Tuesday states — mostly as a result of Bloomberg's unorthodox campaign strategy.
Vice President Pence and HHS Secretary Alex Azar (left) tour virus operations center yesterday. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP
Schools across the U.S. are canceling trips abroad, preparing online lessons and even rethinking "perfect attendance" awards as they brace for the possibility that the coronavirus spreads to their communities, AP's Collin Binkley reports.
Cleaning crews have been told to pay extra attention to door knobs, keyboards and other surfaces that students touch through the day.
Officials are considering how they would handle large numbers of absences among students or teachers, and how to make up days that could be missed because of the virus.
The National School Boards Association is asking districts to reconsider attendance awards to students who don't miss a day of class for an entire year or semester.
Syria's campaign to retake the final rebel strongholds in Idlib Province — backed by Russian strikes on schools, hospitals and homes — has displaced 1 million people and counting, Axios World Editor Dave Lawler reports.
The Iowa Democratic Party released updated results of the Iowa caucuses after the completion of a recount requested by Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg:
The Dow industrials had their worst-ever daily points drop — 1,191 — and the S&P 500 posted its largest percentage drop since August 2011.
The latest: Stock indexes around the world today followed Wall Street into correction territory. (Wall Street Journal)
People wearing masks line up to buy more face masks in Seoul, South Korea, today. Photo: Lee Jin-man/AP
Coronavirus disruptions, told in headlines:
"As soon as next month, Walmart plans to start publicly testing a membership program called Walmart+," Recode's Jason Del Rey scoops.
The paid membership program "would include perks that Amazon can’t replicate, in part to avoid a direct comparison to Prime."
This NASA image shows the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster, viewed in a composite of X-ray, radio and infrared data.
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